Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are ion channels responsible for the fast release of Ca2+ from the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum to the cytosol and show a selectivity of Ca2+ over monovalent cations. By utilizing a recently developed multisite Ca2+ model in molecular dynamic simulations, we show that multiple cations accumulate in the upper selectivity filter of RyRs, and the small size and high valence of Ca2+ make it preferable to K+ in competition for space in this confined region of negative electrostatic potential. The presence of Ca2+ in the upper selectivity filter significantly increases the energy barrier of K+ permeation, while the presence of K+ has little impact on the Ca2+ permeation. Our results provide the atomistic details of the charge/space competition mechanism for the ion selectivity of RyRs, which ensures the robustness of their Ca2+ release function. The mechanism could be utilized in protein- and nanoengineering for valence selectivity of ion species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry